A MOST IMMORAL SHORT STORY
“Brenda Sue?” The nurse looked up from her clipboard at the sole occupant of the tastefully decorated waiting room.
“Yes, ma’m, I’m Brenda,” the very pregnant woman stood up.
“My name is Ann. Follow me, please. Doctor Morrison will see you now. Right this way,” the nurse motioned Brenda down a short hall and into a comfortable office, where she seated her in a plush armchair.
A moment later, the door opened and a kindly faced chubby man entered, wearing a white coat bearing the nametag ‘Dr. Morrison’. “No, no. Don’t get up. That armchair sucks you right in, and it’s hard enough just standing up when you’re pregnant.” He stepped forward and shook Brenda’s hand, then retreated behind his desk. “What can I do for you today, Brenda?”
Brenda looked down at her swollen belly. “Well - ah – the clinic down the street said that they couldn’t do an abortion, because I was too far along, and I saw your sign, and I thought - -.” She sniffed. “Maybe I could get a pos – ah a posarm - -.”
“A postpartum abortion?” Dr Morrison asked helpfully.
“Yeah, one of those,” she affirmed with a nod.
“I see. Well, it’s certainly an option, always is, you know, always is. That’s why we’re here. I’ll have to ask you a few questions, of course, and you’ll have to sign a few papers. Always have to do the paperwork, you know,” he smiled; a kindly, cherubic smile.
Brenda smiled and nodded in return. “Sure, I know about paperwork. AFDC people are always having me sign stuff. I don’t mind.”
Dr. Morrison nodded and turned on the computer that occupied the center of his desk. A screen in the corner of the desk came alight with a document. “Could I ask how far along you are with your pregnancy?”
She nodded. “A bit over eight months. My old boyfriend made me pregnant then left me when he found out, and my new boyfriend don’t want no kid around.”
Dr. Morrison typed briefly. “I see. Have you considered adoption?”
Brenda shook her head. “No way. My Ma always told me about how it hurts to have a kid, and then just give it away? No.” She suddenly looked concerned. “It doesn’t hurt, does it? I mean what you do?”
“No, no, of course not. You will be most comfortable before and during the procedure. Never know what is happening, as a matter of fact. And, of course, no pain afterward.”
“Good. I don’t like pain.”
Dr. Morrison nodded. “Now, what disposition do you want of the body? I might suggest that an organ donation program would be an excellent choice. You could actually help others and possibly save a life.”
Brenda gaped at the Doctor for a moment, then brightened. “Why, I never thought of that! Sure, why not help someone when I can? I suppose it just goes to waste otherwise.” She hesitated. “It don’t go to no medical school or anything does it?”
“Oh, absolutely not. Body parts are far too precious for that.” Dr. Morrison typed briefly and pressed the ‘print’ button, and a few neatly typed sheets slid out of the printer. “You sign here, saying that you are requesting this procedure of your own free will, and here, for your wishes for disposition of the body,” he pointed with his pen, and offered the instrument to her. “Then press your right thumb in the square at the bottom of each page. The fingerprint assures anyone asking that it is indeed you who signed, not some stranger.”
Brenda did as she was directed, then looked up. “When can you do it?” She asked.
“Why, right away,” Dr. Morrison assured. “Did you want to wait? We can do it any time that you want.”
“No, the sooner the better. My boyfriend don’t like the idea of a baby. Me neither.”
“Nurse,” Dr. Morrison called, and Ann, who had ushered Brenda into the room earlier, appeared at the door. “Please prepare Brenda for the procedure, alert Dr. Henderson for the anesthesia, then see to the filing of these papers. Have to keep all the paperwork legal, you know.”
The nurse nodded and beckoned Brenda out of the room. "Take off your clothes, put this on and have a seat on the end of the table there. Doctor Henderson will be here in just a moment”
Dr. Morrison leaned back in his chair and smiled at Ann. “So what are the results of Brenda’s procedure?
Ann shuffled a few papers. “Blood went to the blood bank, of course, both eyes were taken, liver was a perfect match to a recipient, probably won’t even need anti-rejection drugs, heart, both lungs, both kidneys, most of the bone and some of the skin found recipients. Brenda probably saved three lives today and ended a lot of misery.”
Ann nodded and smiled sadly. “She was a school dropout. Do you ever think that all this depends on ignorance of the English language?”
“All the time,” Dr. Morrison assured her. “How about the baby?”
“In neonatal care for a week or two, we already have a good home picked out.” She hesitated. “I guess ignorance is important, but being in a state that allows Doctor assisted suicide is even more important.”
Dr. Morrison nodded. “Yes, there’s that, too.”
John Cooley, author, "Dear Madman"